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In Memory of Donjo Medlevine

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Description  #1

CHEZ REMINICSING...a night of fond memories held at Chicago's Newberry Library.

Invitations were sent out for the December 3, 2003 event to members of the Newberry... to which 100 attended. Stars appearing at the Chez were shown during a slide show presentation... including Sophie Tucker, Sammy Davis, Lena Horne, Mike Wallace alongside Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Liberace and and a score of other top flight entertainers. In attendance was Peggy Schatz, wife of former owner Jay Schatz. Jay held a longtime partnership with Donjo Medlevine and Dave Halper. Many poeple reminisced of the fabulous times once had at the Chez.Note:
Scott McMurray... a former feature writer for the New York Times and business writer for the corporate world is now working on a book proposal and deal to author a comprehensive true to life biography of the Chez and its legendary era ...richly deserves recognition from a historical perspective.
So many of the Chicago nightclubs, cabarets and burlesque shows have long disappeared from the scene. As research will find advertisements and stories featuring Chicago's twilight nightspots.


Description #6 & #7

A description for the Welcome Chicago magazine.

WELCOME CHICAGO September 6, 1952... a promo publication featuring Chicago's nightspots and entertainment. Shown on the front and back covers are the burlesque clubs and burlesque queens... Silver Frolics and Show Club. Inside... more frolicking at the Playhouse... So Ho... L& L... Martin's Club... Silver Palm... 606... Post Time Club... Backstage... Club 19... Talk of the Town... and Alabam Club. TAKE IT OFF... TAKE IT OFF... Chicago was widely known as the convention city of the world...its famous burlesque cabarets and stunning strippers.
Description for #5

Appearing at the Chez that week was Johnnie Ray...billed as Mister Emotion...along with the Chez Adorables. Midget Auto races were held at Soldier Field Stadium. Soldier Field... always jam packed when the midget auto races and demolition derbies were held. Admission was $1.50 and every race more exciting than the last.

Description # 4

Shown is an advertisement for the Backstage Show Bar on Wilson Avenue with an All Girl Revue. 

Description # 8

Another advertisement for the once infamous Calumet City's State Street... known for more than frolics and rampart political corruption. Sally Rand  appearing that week at the Riptide... Lana Richards at the Show Club and the sensational Tomba and Tieda at the Rondavoo. 

Harold Rubin - CHICAGO LEGENDS archives   


Description for # 10

A description for the Life magazine article re: Mayor Kelly and Chez Paree Adorables photo.

LIFE A THE appeared in Life Magazine July 17, 1944 in a feature article covering Mayor Kelly's Chicago as the Republican and Democratic national conventions were about to be held...and in true style...the vitality, lustiness and sprawling disorder has not changed since 1870. It was described as just bigger and better looking and since then has been splashed with labor riots, Capone mob warfare, municipal graft and evanescent reforms. Chicago at the time had 400 movie houses, 700 liquor stores, 5800 saloons. Its nightlife is internationally famous...ranging from swank show places like the Chez Paree through the popular strip-tease night clubs like the Backstage, to run down joints out State Street, Clark Street and West Madison as reported.
Description for # 9

An inset photo shows the Chez Paree Adorables as being among the attractions featured at the expensive high-class Chez.

Description # 11

 Another inset  photo is snapped at the Backstage as SNOOKIE does her strip-tease act. The caption says it all...'During the Republican Convention the police carefully patrolled Chicago's joints'. 

The "Outfit" bagmen made their rounds... on the proverbial  take... showing no distinction between Republicans or Democrats. 
Harold Rubin - CHICAGO LEGENDS archives  




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